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Tracking Rails App Usage with Analytics

Jay Killeen asked in Rails


I notice this site uses Google Analytics to track usage. Is that the standard when it comes to tracking your rails apps? I know it is generally pretty standard in the case of my websites but for Rails Apps I was thinking it would be cool to have the analytics cooked into the app itself so there isn't a requirement to login to a third party or reduce the risk of having corporate IT ask questions about where our data is being sent to.

I have looked at gems such as Redis Analytics which seem interesting (although I do not really understand Redis yet).

Does anyone else have any suggestions on how we can track usage in our apps? I just want things like page views, time on site etc so that when I have my app out in the wild I can report back to management how much the teams are using it so I can put business cases through for further development.

My app is using devise and I have all the controllers locked down for authentication. My only metric at this stage is a count of how many times a user has logged in which is an out of the box devise feature.

Any thoughts would be welcome.


That looks super cool. There's also another gem called Ahoy that I've heard good things about but I haven't used it and it doesn't look to have a nice dashboard (from what I saw at a glance).

At One Month, we use to send metrics to a bunch of different services. One of our most important ones is Mixpanel where we build and measure all our funnels. Admittedly I don't do much tracking other than Google Analytics on GoRails so the data I get back isn't super useful.

I think is really awesome and you can just tell it to pipe your metrics wherever you want and it gets syndicated for you. All you have to do is build it once and all your services (whatever ones you want) receive the data.

Of course redis_analytics or ahoy make a lot of sense if you want to keep it all internal without using 3rd party services.


Cool. I followed this guide and was up and running in 10 minutes.

Looked at the redis and Ahoy one's aswell but wanted something easy to configure.

Out of interest. Google analytics is only traffic information right? (time on site, what page you are on etc) There is no chance of it capturing data that is being sent (ie user details, passwords etc). Seems like a no brainer but want to be certain.


Yeah, that's correct. It only runs in the browser on a page view. You'll get very basic data with it.

Segment is fantastic for us because it allows us to track custom events and not just page views. We can keep track of "User signed up", "User subscribed", "User canceled" and then have all this information to see where people are dropping off. It's a different set of analytics which is more valuable at certain times than others. Getting a basic Google Analytics implementation and then figuring out what's important to measure later on is usually what I do. Basics first, then add some complexity as needed later.

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